By Jennifer Dempsey Colorado Central Magazine
When Kent Haruf married my mother, I don’t think he had plans to attend any more Lamaze classes. He was 52, my mother was 52, and each had already raised children of their own. When they married in 1995, Kent was on his way to becoming a bestselling author, and I’m pretty sure childbirth was not on his agenda.
But 16 years later he made it part of his agenda, because when I found out at age 42 that I was pregnant for the first time, I was more than a little freaked out. And even though Kent had three daughters of his own that he loved dearly, Kent loved me too and wanted to make sure I was okay.
It was September 2010 and I was in the bathroom at Walmart, trying to decipher the Spanish language label on the half-price pregnancy test I’d just bought. I didn’t know what “embarazada” meant, but I knew what the pink lines meant, and they were quickly coming into focus. So I did what I always did when I had a crisis: I headed straight to my mom’s house.
She and Kent were living in Maysville at the time. My sister Amy was visiting from London with her husband Justin and their 3-year-old son Charlie. I walked into the noisy, jolly household where Kent and Justin were cooking dinner and Amy and my mom were playing with Charlie. Over the hubbub, I told Mom and Amy I needed to see them upstairs.
“Are we in trouble?” Amy joked.
“No, I am!” I said, then burst into tears.
Maybe if Amy had lived closer she would have accompanied me to doctor’s appointments and birthing classes, but she didn’t. So Kent and my mom stepped in and for the next 40 weeks were my pregnancy partners.
Each month the three of us filed into Dr. Schaler’s office for my routine checkups. There we listened to the baby’s heartbeat, saw the baby develop at each ultrasound, and found out he was a boy.
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